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  1. Bessani, Alysson ; Défago, Xavier ; Nakamura, Junya ; Wada, Koichi ; Yamauchi, Yukiko (Ed.)
    Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms are a widely-used algorithmic tool for sampling from high-dimensional distributions, a notable example is the equilibirum distribution of graphical models. The Glauber dynamics, also known as the Gibbs sampler, is the simplest example of an MCMC algorithm; the transitions of the chain update the configuration at a randomly chosen coordinate at each step. Several works have studied distributed versions of the Glauber dynamics and we extend these efforts to a more general family of Markov chains. An important combinatorial problem in the study of MCMC algorithms is random colorings. Given a graph G of maximum degree Δ and an integer k ≥ Δ+1, the goal is to generate a random proper vertex k-coloring of G. Jerrum (1995) proved that the Glauber dynamics has O(nlog{n}) mixing time when k > 2Δ. Fischer and Ghaffari (2018), and independently Feng, Hayes, and Yin (2018), presented a parallel and distributed version of the Glauber dynamics which converges in O(log{n}) rounds for k > (2+ε)Δ for any ε > 0. We improve this result to k > (11/6-δ)Δ for a fixed δ > 0. This matches the state of the art for randomly sampling colorings of general graphs in the sequential setting. Whereas previous works focused on distributed variants of the Glauber dynamics, our work presents a parallel and distributed version of the more general flip dynamics presented by Vigoda (2000) (and refined by Chen, Delcourt, Moitra, Perarnau, and Postle (2019)), which recolors local maximal two-colored components in each step. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 6, 2024
  2. Gørtz, Inge Li ; Farach-Colton, Martin ; Puglisi, Simon J ; Herman, Grzegorz (Ed.)
    We consider variants of the classic Multiway Cut problem. Multiway Cut asks to partition a graph G into k parts so as to separate k given terminals. Recently, Chandrasekaran and Wang (ESA 2021) introduced l_p-norm Multiway Cut, a generalization of the problem, in which the goal is to minimize the l_p norm of the edge boundaries of k parts. We provide an O(log^{1/2} n log^{1/2 + 1/p} k) approximation algorithm for this problem, improving upon the approximation guarantee of O(log^{3/2} n log^{1/2} k) due to Chandrasekaran and Wang. We also introduce and study Norm Multiway Cut, a further generalization of Multiway Cut. We assume that we are given access to an oracle, which answers certain queries about the norm. We present an O(log^{1/2} n log^{7/2} k) approximation algorithm with a weaker oracle and an O(log^{1/2} n log^{5/2} k) approximation algorithm with a stronger oracle. Additionally, we show that without any oracle access, there is no n^{1/4-ε} approximation algorithm for every ε > 0 assuming the Hypergraph Dense-vs-Random Conjecture. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 30, 2024